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Ranking Africa's Premier League flops

By ESPN Staff

Allardyce targets five new faces for next season

Sam Allardyce is looking to make five new signings for Bolton's next campaign - but insists he will have to swoop before the World Cup starts.

The Bolton manager believes prices will soar for players involved in the finals in Germany and wants to tie up his deals before the tournament kicks off on June 9.

Allardyce said: 'During the World Cup it will be a waste of time trying to do any business.

'As soon as the World Cup ends, it's back into pre-season and most of the players will be fixed up and those that are not you will see their prices inflated.

'It is a difficult situation for us and to get the best deal we will try to make the most of our signings before the world cup starts.

'Ideally, I would like to bring in four to five players. We have earmarked our recruits and will be working hard to bring in the players we need to strengthen the squad for next season.

'Historically, we have waited until the death to bring in the players we need, which tend to be cheaper. That might not be the case this year, because we have a major tournament cutting across pre-season.

'Any players performing well in the World Cup that are available could prove to be too expensive for us.'

Meanwhile, Allardyce insists he would settle for a point at Birmingham tonight after defeats by Middlesbrough and Manchester United.

He added: 'We don't want to throw away what has been a fantastic season. We aimed to get into the UEFA Cup again and that's now in jeopardy.

'We have to make sure we get a result - a win would be great but we have to make sure we do not lose. If we get a point then fine, and we can go on from there.

'We have not been resilient enough. When we slipped up earlier in the season we ended up drawing, but recently we have been slipping up and it has been a defeat.'

Allardyce has no injury problems from the weekend and Ricardo Gardner is back in contention after recovering from the illness which kept him out of the 2-1 defeat by Manchester United.